#SheLeadsWithGrace: Conversations with women partners of Zoho Marketplace, Part 1

#SheLeadsWithGrace: Conversations with women partners of Zoho Marketplace, Part 1

The future of tech is female.

The number of women in tech is increasing significantly each year. Women currently make up 28% of the tech workforce (as compared to the meager 8% in the early 2000s), and nearly 45% of STEM graduates are women. This spells an increasing influx of women in fields like cloud computing, AI, and ML, all of which could really benefit from the diversity and innovation that women bring to the table. Women also continue to make strides in management and leadership roles and contribute to business growth. Organizations with more diversity in leadership, especially gender diversity, have seen a notable increase in innovation and revenue.

With International Women's day coming up, we decided to speak to some of the wonderful women in tech we work with over at Zoho Marketplace. We reached out to female leaders in our partner organizations to initiate conversations on female leadership, the role of women in building customer-centric business processes, and how organizations can better utilize the strengths of their female workforce.

While International Women's Day serves as a reminder to celebrate the achievements of women in tech, it also presents an opportunity to reflect on how we can further empower and support women in leadership positions. Here is our conversation with Jamee Dunn, Senior Strategic Alliance Manager at Avalara, and Sushma Arani, Director of Product Management at Instamojo, showcasing a diverse range of viewpoints.

Jamee Nunnelee Dunn has been with Avalara since 2013 in the quest for Sales Tax Excellence in the small business space.  She has a passion for helping people, especially accounting professionals and small business owners, with their compliance needs.

Sushma Arani, Director of Product Management at Instamojo, is a versatile professional with a strong foundation in global markets. 

In your opinion, how do women leaders influence the development of a customer-centric culture within organizations?

Jamee:  "Recognizing and leveraging the unique strengths and perspectives of both men and women in the workforce is essential for driving innovation and meeting the needs of customers effectively. As we continue to progress, it's important for women to support one another. By placing capable women in leadership positions, organizations can make significant strides in cultivating inclusive environments and enhancing their brand reputation in the workplace."

Sushma:  "I believe regardless of gender, leaders contribute equally to the development of culture in any organization. Men and women do bring in diversity in the thought process depending on the expertise they have, which helps in shaping the culture within the organization."

In your experience, what skills or knowledge areas do you consider crucial for women to succeed in the tech industry, and how have you honed them?

Jamee: "In the tech ecosystem, essential skills and knowledge areas for women to succeed include becoming subject matter experts in their field, actively engaging in mentorship and support networks, and cultivating authenticity in their interactions. By continuously developing expertise, offering assistance to others, and fostering genuine connections, women can create opportunities for reciprocal growth and meaningful contributions to the industry ."

Sushma: " The ecosystem is continuously evolving. It is important to keep track of the ongoing trends of the sector and upskill where necessary."

How can businesses harness the unique strengths and insights of their female workforce to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty?

Jamee: "While it's crucial to hire based on merit rather than gender, businesses can greatly benefit from including individuals from diverse backgrounds, including women, to foster collaboration and innovative problem-solving.  Embracing a variety of perspectives leads to constructive debates, ultimately guiding teams toward more effective solutions. By recognizing and harnessing the strengths of their female workforce, businesses can better understand and meet the needs of their customers, ultimately improving satisfaction and loyalty."

Sushma: "Women can be more empathetic and sensitive—two key qualities to enhance customer centricity and loyalty. Businesses can acknowledge this strength and optimize it to build a happy and loyal customer base." 

Including women in organizational decision-making means introducing diversity in thought. In general, women showcase qualities like empathy and sensitivity that play a large role in incorporating customer centricity into decision-making processes.

Zoho Marketplace extends International Women's Day wishes to all of its partners, customers, and stakeholders!

(Stay tuned for the second part of this blog series, where we've curated more such insights from women in the tech workforce.)


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